What "#BlackLivesMatter" Means to Me
#BlackLivesMatter is a powerful movement for many people. As an African American, #BlackLivesMatter, to me, means freedom, community, and empowerment. It is freedom to let our voices be heard as a community. Its purpose is to make others aware of the improper activity of violence being done towards black people.
One of the misconceptions about the #BlackLivesMatter movement is that, because we proclaim “#BlackLivesMatter,” we don’t believe all other lives matter. That is not the case. I believe your life is valuable no matter your ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. If we were treated like everyone else, there wouldn’t be a need to point out black lives. But, right now, black lives are going through a terrible time. We want to reiterate the message that our lives are just as important as anyone else’s. The way black people are being treated makes us feel as though our lives don’t matter because of the color of our skin. There have been too many incidents where black men have been the target of police brutality due to uncaring and improperly trained police officers; and, sometimes, even racism plays a part.
I don’t believe all police officers are this way. I know there are many who understand the wrongdoings towards African American men. No one should have to be treated like Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who was pinned to the ground, hands free of any weapons and still shot to death.
I begin to fear for my life and my family’s lives when I think about Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, who was shot four times when trying to get his wallet to show his license. You never know what is going through a law enforcement officer’s head. How are we supposed to feel protected when our armed protectors are afraid of us?
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is not purposed to be a violent organization. It is designed to take back our voice and be the voice of African Americans who could not be saved. It is to take back our freedom and rights as Americans. We are more powerful when we work together, and this is our way of showing that our lives matter too.
The color of our skin does not define our worth as human beings. We are all created equal, so we should be treated as equals.
#BlackLivesMatter is important to me because our African American ancestors have fought and died for our freedom. Is my life valued less because of the color of my skin? Am I not as important because I was born with my beautiful tanned skin? Do I not deserve the same chance that America has to offer, because the police fear the color of my skin? #BlackLivesMatter is important to me because seeing all of the violence being done is like taking a step backwards, into the past. #BlackLivesMatter is our way to make others aware of our racially unjust society.
#BlackLivesMatter! It is our goal to be included in #AllLivesMatter!